Friday, 28 November 2014

Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser premieres online

Today the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered in selected theatres in the US and, as hoped, online for the rest of the world.

Director JJ Abrams distills my childhood in 88-seconds!

Is that the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch or Andy Serkis as a Sith Lord? The new Stormtroopers look awesome and I teared up when the Millenium Falcon roared on screen with TIE Fighters in hot pursuit.

John Williams music, recorded recently by the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), was an urgent reprise of the Sarlacc pit battle from Return of the Jedi and culminated in a triumphant rendition of the iconic main theme from Star Wars.

Did it stir excitement for the new movie? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Battlestar Galactica: The Definitive Collection

The announcement of an 18-disc Battlestar Galactica: The Definitive Collection Blu-ray disc box set is poignant following the death of series creator Glen A. Larson. His television series were an integral part of my formative years and informed a nascent passion for media production as much as George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

From renowned writer/producer Glen A. Larson, the creative force behind Knight Rider, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, comes the groundbreaking TV series that launched one of the most beloved sci-fi franchises in history, available in widescreen and high definition as Battlestar Galactica: The Definitive Collection and Battlestar Galactica: The Remastered Collection. These essential collections for Battlestar Galactica devotees include all 24 explosive episodes of Battlestar Galactica: The Original Series plus the complete 10-episode spin-off series, Galactica 1980.

Newly remastered in 16:9 widescreen presentation for the very first time, Battlestar Galactica: The Remastered Collection features both pioneering series meticulously reformatted to be optimized for the HDTV viewing experience. Battlestar Galactica: The Definitive Collection also includes both series in 4:3 Full Frame as they were originally televised, plus the theatrical version of the premiere episode "Saga of a Star World," presented in 1.85:1 widescreen for the ultimate collector.

This epic adventure, which provided the inspiration for the critically acclaimed 2004 Syfy reimagined series, comes with over 4 hours of bonus features, including over 3 hours of deleted scenes from Battlestar Galactica: The Original Series. These collections also includes featurettes such as "Glen Larson on the Creation of Battlestar Galactica" and "Stu Phillips: Composing the Score" with an inside look at the genesis of this remarkable production, and "Remembering Battlestar Galactica," a 45-minute retrospective documentary featuring cast and crew on the making of this ground-breaking series.

Battlestar Galactica: The Original Series Synopsis: The Twelve Colonies, hopeful for lasting peace following centuries of intense warfare, gather to sign a treaty with their dreaded enemies, the Cylons. But after an act of treachery on the eve of the ceremony, the Cylons launch a devastating surprise attack, destroying the Colonies' home planets and most of their military strength. A lone flagship battlestar, the Galactica, remains to aid the surviving colonists on their epic journey to a new home on a far-off, legendary planet-Earth. The Original Series stars Richard Hatch (The Streets of San Francisco), Dirk Benedict (The A-Team), Lorne Greene (Bonanza), Herbert Jefferson Jr. (Apollo 13), John Colicos (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Maren Jensen (The Love Boat), Noah Hathaway (The NeverEnding Story), Laurette Spang (Airport 1975), Tony Swartz (Dynasty) and Terry Carter (McCloud).

Galactica 1980 Synopsis: The Complete Series picks up 30 years after the events of Battlestar Galactica, as the original crew finally makes the long-anticipated descent to Earth. With time running out and the Cylons closing in on their trail, Commander Adama and the Galactica team work harder than ever to help Earth create the technology necessary for battle. Galactica 1980 stars Kent McCord (Emergency), Barry Van Dyke (Diagnosis Murder), Robyn Douglass (Breaking Away) and Lorne Greene.

Battlestar Galactica: The Definitive Collection is presented in 1080p with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and DTS 2.0. Content includes:

Battlestar Galactica: The Original Series (Widescreen and Full Frame)
Galactica 1980: The Complete Series (Widescreen and Full Frame)
Battlestar Galactica - The 125-minute theatrical edit of the premiere episode "Saga of a Star World"
Remembering Battlestar Galactica - a 45-minute retrospective documentary featuring cast and crew on the making of the series
Episode Commentary with Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict and Herbert Jefferson Jr.
Glen Larson on the Creation of Battlestar Galactica
Stu Phillips: Composing the Score
And More!

Battlestar Galactica: The Remastered Collection is presented in 1080p with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and DTS 2.0. Content includes:

Battlestar Galactica: The Original Series (Widescreen Only)
Galactica 1980: The Complete Series (Widescreen Only)
Remembering Battlestar Galactica - a 45-minute retrospective documentary featuring cast and crew on the making of the series
Episode Commentary with Richard Hatch, Dirk Benedict and Herbert Jefferson Jr.
Glen Larson on the Creation of Battlestar Galactica
Stu Phillips: Composing the Score
And More!

Both box sets bow on May 12, 2015.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Doctor Who Christmas Special gets WHAM! title

It wouldn't be Christmas without the Doctor. Last Christmas is the title for the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas Special, which airs this Christmas on BBC One.

Is it a reference to Clara's (Jenna Coleman) much-debated departure from the series? Well, technically it would be Clara's second departure if you count part two of the series 8 finale. A poignant, understated, scene reminiscent of Sarah Jane Smith's farewell in The Hand of Fear.

Doctor Who fans should check back in December when Andrew Lewin and myself join forces to discuss series 8. There will be spoilers...

Monday, 24 November 2014

See Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer this weekend

A post Thanksgiving treat for Star Wars fans. This weekend witnesses the release of the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens at selected cinemas in the US.

Regal Cinemas has confirmed the following locations:

CA, Irvine - Edwards Irvine Spectrum 22 & IMAX

CA, San Diego - Edwards Mira Mesa Stadium 18 IMAX & RPX

GA, Atlanta - Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 18 IMAX & RPX

IL, Chicago - Regal City North Stadium 14 IMAX & RPX

NY, New York - Regal Union Square Stadium 14

PA, Warrington - Regal Warrington Crossing Stadium 22 & IMAX

TN, Knoxville - Regal Pinnacle Stadium 18 IMAX & RPX

TX, Houston - Edwards Houston Marq'E Stadium 23 IMAX & RPX

WA, Seattle - Regal Thornton Place Stadium 14 & IMAX

Disney has a proven track record for effectively leveraging the social media space and I'd suggest the company premiere's the trailer online as soon as possible. If not, someone else will. Age of Ultron anyone?

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The quest to find Game of the Year

Tauriel, an Elf Mage, begins an epic quest...

2014 has, for the most part, been notable for video game re-releases on PS4 and Xbox One!

There were no clear contenders for Game of the Year (GotY) as in previous years, which has included Dishonored, Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider. Instead, the media was fixated on the PS4's seemingly insurmountable sales lead on Xbox One and the latter's price drop. Where were the compelling next gen games coming from?

PlayStation exclusive The Last of Us Remastered and GTA V for PS4 and Xbox One could be considered worthy of, permanent, pride of place on a bookshelf in their next gen incarnations. And may garner GotY for a second year running from gaming enthusiasts and critics alike.

Bungie's overblown blockbuster Destiny fell short of the studio's greatest achievements: Halo and Marathon. Offering shallow, but addictive, fun in the form of Fireteams. A week doesn't pass by when I don't play an Heroic Strike mission. Only to see teammates and myself strewn, hapless, across the desolate dunes of Mars.

Delays have lead to an overcrowded November, which includes the annual Call of Duty. However, I may have discovered my GotY: Dragon Age: Inquisition. In short, a compelling blend of Mass Effect meets Skyrim. I invested an hour customising my character, Tauriel (pictured at the start), before embarking on the 100 hour or more quest.

Honourable mention: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which meshed Assassin's Creed with stablemate Batman: Arkham.

What say you, fellow gamer?

Monday, 17 November 2014

Star Wars Celebration comes to Anaheim in 2015

Force fans save the date. April 16 2015 is when Star Wars Celebration comes to Anaheim, CA. Think of it as Comic-Con for Star Wars.

Given JJ Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens premieres in cinemas December 2015. This is expected to be the biggest Star Wars Celebration yet.

“It’s going to be really interesting, because we are way ahead with ticket sales from where we usually are this far out,” said Mary Franklin, senior events and fan relations lead for Lucasfilm. “I feel safe saying this is going to be the biggest one yet.”

Visit the official site for further details.

Will you be attending Star Wars Celebration? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Christopher Nolan is afraid to direct Star Wars

Director Christopher Nolan (Interstellar) talked to The Daily Beast about his enthusiasm for Star Wars and the upcoming The Force Awakens.

"I'm pretty excited to see what J.J. is going to do with that. I’m excited to see that he’s shooting on film and actually built the Millennium Falcon. As far as whether or not I would have ever done it, the truth is I think I’d be afraid to touch it! He’s boldly going where he went before in Star Trek, and it takes colossal balls. I’m a lot more comfortable trying to do my own thing than carrying the weight and expectation of the entire world—particularly 40-somethings like me who live and die with each new bit of information about Star Wars. But I’m very excited to see what he does."

Nolan may be one of the most divisive directors working in Hollywood. I'm a big fan and would have loved to see his take on the Star Wars saga.

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Force Awakens on Twitter

Disney unveiled the official title for Star Wars: Episode VII on Twitter!

The Force Awakens.

No waiting until the first teaser trailer to reveal the hotly-anticipated subtitle. Social media has changed the landscape of marketing and this is a sign of the times in an era of instant gratification.

The title was met with enthusiasm and derision in equal measure. However, it's better than Attack of the Clones and the Star Wars font dwarfs the subtitle. Keeping it old school.

The Force Awakens sans Episode VII evokes the original trilogy and alludes to the possible central threat in the new Star Wars trilogy. A Sith uprising and a desperate search for Luke Skywalker who has been in hiding since Return of the Jedi. This is only fun speculation and fans will have to wait until December 2015 to discover what JJ Abrams and his Bad Robot cohorts have in mind.

What do you think of The Force Awakens? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

C-3PO actor says Star Wars: Episode VII is the best yet

Filming of Star Wars: Episode VII wrapped last week and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) took to Twitter to suggest the movie may be the best yet! Eclipsing The Empire Strikes Back no less.

The as yet untitled next installment in the Star Wars saga, currently in post-production, won't be released until December 2015.

Do you think Episode VII will surpass Empire? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Marvel's Agent Carter gets first TV Spot

Following the Marvel Event, which heralded the announcement of 8 movies spanning the next five years, the first TV Spot for Agent Carter has been revealed. Can Peggy Carter hold her own in a television schedule boasting Arrow, Constantine, Gotham and The Flash?

ABC presents its second action packed series from the creative minds at Marvel in “Marvel’s Agent Carter,” inspired by the feature films Marvel’s "Captain America: The First Avenger" and Marvel’s "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," along with the short "Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter."

Years before Agent Coulson and his S.H.I.E.L.D. team swore to protect those who cannot protect themselves from threats they cannot conceive, there was Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell, Marvel's "Captain America: The First Avenger," Marvel's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"), who pledged the same oath but lived in a different time when women weren’t recognized as being as smart or as tough as their male counterparts.

But no one should ever underestimate Peggy.

It's 1946 and peace has dealt Peggy a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad. Working for the covert SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve), Peggy finds herself stuck doing administrative work when she would rather be back out in the field; putting her vast skills into play and taking down the bad guys. But she is also trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life, Steve Rogers – aka Captain America.

When old acquaintance Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper, Marvel's "Captain America: The First Avenger”) finds himself being framed for unleashing his deadliest weapons to anyone willing to pony up the cash, he contacts Peggy - the only person he can trust - to track down those responsible, dispose of the weapons and clear his name. He empowers his butler, Edwin Jarvis (James D'Arcy, “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”), to be at her beck and call when needed to help assist her as she investigates and tracks down those responsible for releasing these weapons of mass destruction. But Jarvis, who is a creature of habit and sticks to a rigid daily routine, is going to have to make some major life changes if he’s going to be able to keep up with Peggy.

If caught going on these secret missions for Stark, Peggy could be targeted as a traitor and spend the rest of her days in prison – or worse. And as she delves deeper into her investigation, she may find that those she works for are not who they seem, and she might even begin to question whether Stark is as innocent as he claims.

Agent Carter's eight-episode mini-series begins this January on ABC. No news regarding UK transmission dates.